Three: Transcript from the web

Review of Inquiry Pop-up

By Laura Belgray

The idea for Inquiry Pop-up, came while watching the documentary Bill Cunningham New York, says Jennifer Elsner of the eponymous design studio & consultancy.

“I was struck at the mention that Cunningham requires a trip to Paris every six months ‘to re-educate the eye’. I paused the film, and promptly planned a long-weekend in Paris.”

Since then Elsner has traveled twice annually, to posh locations as well as amenity-stripped campsites in the high desert, with the sole intention to clean the slate and see things differently. Upon her return she is always her most productive and inspired. That is why she’s created the invitation-only dinner party, meets residency, meets salon—the un-mastermind—Inquiry Pop-up.

Inquiry Pop-up retreats take place in visually, spiritually inspiring locations that, by Elsner’s design, “require some grit to reach.”


  1. designguru | Feb 06 15, 8:04AM
    I love the idea of going somewhere that requires “grit”! Been feeling so stuck, I’m in creative prison, help. I want my company to set a new standard for banding, tone, look. I feel like I’m always looking at other companies for inspiration, but I want to be the one THEY look at. I want to go on a journey that opens my eyes. Girl crushing on Jen Elsner ♥
  2. 18thingsofjoy | Feb 06 15, 8:11AM
    Hello! Jennifer Elsner has been on my vision board for years. Count me in. 🙂
  3. KateTheGreat287 | Feb 06 15, 8:13AM
    Vision vision vision vision. That word just makes me drool! Vision. I want it. Love the idea of someone helping me create it. Have been in several masterminds, and they’ve all (ok, mostly) been good but haven’t changed my biz in the way I’d hoped, because it’s not about little tweaks, it’s about VISION. This sounds like somehting that would help me find it. Hallelujah.
  4. puddingProf | Feb 06 15, 8:22AM
    Where do we apply? Don’t see a link. ♡ ♡ ♡
  5. superate | Feb 06 15, 8:23AM
    It’s invitation only. Did you read the peace, puddingprof?
Read More
  1. iWantiWant | Feb 06 15, 8:25AM
    designguru, AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID. Except why does it have to be *girl* crush? Can’t we just say “crushing on” without sexual implications? Does girl crushing on her as opposed to just crushing make it more professional?
  2. puddingProf | Feb 06 15, 8:28AM
    SUPERATE – No need to get snippy. Yes, I did read the “peace.” Also, if you’re going to reprimand people, you might want to check you’re spelling.
  3. puddingProf | Feb 06 15, 8:28AM
    * your, not you’re
  4. BKFinkel | Feb 06 15, 8:43AM
    This sounds incredible. I’m a web designer and involved in a business community, which I won’t name, where everybody’s website looks exactly the damn same and everybody uses the same $%@#! words to describe what they do. And they all come to me asking for “a website like so-and-so’s.” NO. I refuse. But the problem is, I can’t think of anything new anymore. I clearly need this. ♡
  5. HarmonyX | Feb 06 15, 9:05AM
    Price? When?
  6. marni | Feb 06 15, 9:15AM
    Must be nice, if you can afford it.
  7. SongOfSolomon | Feb 06 15, 9:18AM
    @marni, we don’t even know how much it is.
  8. CuttingEDge | Feb 06 15, 9:33AM
    Jennifer Elsner helped build a playground in Marfa, I wonder if that is where the retreats are. It’s a magical place and yes, a pain to get to but worth it. ♥ ♥
  9. stateof1der | Feb 06 15, 9:52AM
    Marfa is on my vision board. I will manifest this. Stating here for accountability
  10. Jeff Endicott | Feb 06 15, 10:05AM
    I use to love the game Mastermind. I forget what it was like but I remember playing it on the plane with my Mom, as we had a fold up version. Now kids just watch their nickalodeon shows on the plane, on a ipad, theirs no engagement whatso ever
  11. condos 4 u miami | Feb 06 15, 10:12AM
    I used to think Marfa Texas was Martha Texas LOL 🙂
  12. Kanye W | Feb 06 15, 10:18AM
    Jealous of this girl’s talent. Damn. ♥
  13. HarmonyX | Feb 06 15, 10:26AM
    WHY make the locations hard to get do? I don’t need the stress of getting somewhere. I want conveniences, so my mind is free to be creative.
  14. HarmonyX | Feb 06 15, 10:27AM
    get *to*. Why can’t we edit the coments?
  15. HarmonyX | Feb 06 15, 10:27AM
    *comments* sigh.
  16. MFancy | Feb 06 15, 10:32AM
    @HarmonyX, I’m friends with J. Elsner (NAME DROP ALERT!) and I’ve heard her say that the journey itself can spark new ideas. So it’s not inconvenient just for the sake of being inconvenient – more to get you out of your routine ways of thinking. I have to agree.
  17. macystellgimbels | Feb 06 15, 10:44AM
    Have you ever had 3 flights canceled in a row? I have, and I didn’t get any good ideas from it, except some violent fantasies about what I’d like to do to American Airlines, which sucks. 🙁
  18. 23skuhdoo | Feb 06 15, 10:47AM
    I bet you could channel those violent fantasies into something beautiful. Get yourself invited to Inquiry Pop-up!
  19. A My Name Is Alice | Feb 06 15, 10:51AM
    Whatever this is, I want some! 🙂 I love the idea of seeing things from a new perspective. My ultimate (creative) fantasy is to have someone curate my inspiration. KWIM? For instance, I’d love someone to tell me, “you must read these books and see these movies and pack your bags and go to this place immediately.” Sort of like a magic nanny for my intellectual life.
  20. Bill | Feb 06 15, 11:14AM
    This is an excellent article. Often, articles are not as well written. But I found this article to be extremely useful and informative. http://erectile-dysfunction-solver-for-you-limp-d-menfolk
  21. Sue-ee | Feb 06 15, 11:17AM
    A Mary Poppins for your mind! ♡♡
  22. Sue-ee | Feb 06 15, 11:17AM
    That was to Alice, not the erectile dysfunction spam guy
  23. A My Name Is Alice | Feb 06 15, 11:20AM
    I got you, @sue-ee. Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted to say. You nailed it. Maybe you can be my Jen Elsner? 🙂
  24. DesignMyBanana | Feb 06 15, 11:27AM
    Can someone please explain the Jennifer Elsner worship? Is she famous?
  25. goforth2821 | Feb 06 15, 11:31AM
    What is “famous?” Who cares? Famousness is arbitrary, in today’s day and age when Kim Kardashian’s name is better known than the vice president’s.
  26. rhonda | Feb 06 15, 11:33AM
    Paris is magical. I met my 4th (and final) husband there. We are separated, but I have no regrets. The Louvre, however, is overrated.
  27. Missthang | Feb 06 15, 11:38AM
    Amen, amen, amen. What has Kim Kardashian and her family ever done that is worthy of our attention? Oiling one’s buttocks does not count.
  28. Anne | Feb 06 15, 11:43AM
    Simon I am dying to think outside the box, especially since I cant think of a new way to say think outside the box
  29. eames 4 eva | Feb 06 15, 11:45AM
    Just looked at Ms. Elsner’s website. I’m so appreciative that it’s not the same old “hey girl, let’s rock your biz” BS. Quite frankly, I’m over that style. Speaking of style, Ms. Elsner seems to breathe it. Maybe it’s those trips to Paris. ♡
  30. santastic | Feb 06 15, 11:47AM
    Ah, gay paree. 🙂
  31. molly g | Feb 06 15, 11:47AM
    I never understood why it was considered gay. Is that a slur?
  32. MajorPotato | Feb 06 15, 11:47AM
    “Gay” used to mean happy, molly. There weren’t gender connotations.
  33. molly g | Feb 06 15, 11:48AM
    MajorPotato I was being tongue in cheek. But “gay” still doesn’t have gender connotations. It connotes sexual preference, not gender orientation.
  34. sally bowls | Feb 06 15, 11:49AM
    Seriously? WTF, you guys. 🙁
  35. Kanye W | Feb 06 15, 11:52AM
    Y’all haters can bust on Kim K all you want, she’s one of the most brilliant, enterprising minds of our time. Peace.
  36. Whole Earth | Feb 06 15, 11:53AM
    If this is really Kanye, shouldn’t it say Yeezus?
  37. artsy bartsy | Feb 06 15, 11:56AM
    Anyone see the Koons show before it closed? Obscene: yes. Inspiring: ditto.
  38. thisisnotapipe | Feb 06 15, 12:02AM
    Off topic, but how was Taylor Swift every made the ambassador of New York? Why not a giant Spongebob from Times Square? Or one of the M&Ms? They have about as much to do with the city as she does.
  39. dani k | Feb 06 15, 12:06AM
    Must. Score. Invite. Jen Elsner is my personal Willy Wonka, and I love it. I will eat all the chocolate bars to get my golden ticket. Point me to the candy aisle. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
  40. wordpressed | Feb 06 15, 12:09AM
    I see your candy bar and raise you two. DYING for fresh hot unexpected inspiration coming out my whatsis, need new ideas people. Get me outta my head, it’s hot in here.
  41. mel tha funky | Feb 06 15, 12:14AM
    Creativity, blow on my dice. I’m tired of nice. Chicken soup with rice. Here’s my credit card whatever the price. I just made a poem, isn’t it nice? Gluten doesn’t count as a vice. Sam Breakstone says, where’s my ice!!! What’s that, my kid’s got lice? She got it from that kid with the last name Weiss. Take my advice, don’t order Thai food with extra spice.

Laura is the creator of, where she blogs about seriously random topics (from entrepreneurship to free muffin samples) and helps small businesses make their writing more compelling, entertaining, and money-making. Her expertise in catchy copy comes from 20 years of writing promos for major TV networks including Nick at Nite, TBS, USA, NBC, and Bravo. It’s the closest she’s gotten to being paid just to watch TV, and she’ll take it.